Decision Review System (DRS)

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Decision Review System (DRS)

Cricket uses the Decision Review System (DRS) to assist referees and other officials in contentious situations. Umpire Review is a process where a third referee is brought into play. Both the main referees and the players can invite him to participate in the game.

Decision Review System (DRS): Essential

A system of several components is used to assist the third referee in the match:

  • Cameras, thanks to which you can track the path of the ball. They are most commonly referred to as Hawk-Eye. This option works both after bowlers’ throws and after batsmen’s hits. It can also be used to see if the ball has reached the border.
  • TV replays.
  • Microphones with which you can understand whether the ball hit the wicket or not. Cricket uses the Snickometer system.
  • A device with an infrared image that helps to know about the temperature change of the ball after it hits the wicket. The system was criticized after The Ashes in 2013. After this series, players claimed that the edges of the Hot Spot did not stand out well due to the use of silicone tape. Later, the participants’ assumptions in the matches of The Ashes-2013 were confirmed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Decision Review System (DRS) was first used in test cricket matches in 2008. For the previous 16 years, referees had access to a similar version of the system, but third referees come into play only in a few cases could.

In the One Day International format, DRS was first used in 2011 in the series between England and Australia, and in the Twenty20 International format in 2017 in the playoffs of the Pakistani Super League.

Decision Review System (DRS): Essential

Decision Review System (DRS): a history of the emergence

The emergence of the Decision Review System (DRS) in cricket was gradual. In the 21st century, an additional option was added to existing technologies since 1992, which helped determine whether a batsman was knocked out of the game or not. It was developed by Senaka Weeraratna, a lawyer from Sri Lanka. He expressed this idea back in 1997, but it was possible to implement it only in 2008 after the approval of the International Cricket Council. The Decision Review System (DRS) was tested in a match between Sri Lanka and India. When DRS began to be used in all cricket formats, the International Cricket Council intended to make it compulsory for all competitions. Later, the leaders of this organization abandoned this idea.

The Decision Review System (DRS) has undergone several changes:

  • In 2012, a decision was made to increase the percentage of uncertainty when the ball hits the pad of the batsman’s bat.
  • Since autumn 2013, each team within 80 overs could use two opportunities to watch a controversial episode. Previously, two attempts were given for an inning. It was decided to return to the previous rules in the 2017 season. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, fewer officials are present at matches than before, so as of summer 2020, the International Cricket Council has temporarily allowed participants to use three views per inning.
  • In 2016, the system was improved, and the percentage of uncertainty was reduced to a lower percentage of uncertainty than it was when the system was launched.

Since 2014, TV viewers can see the process of how the third judge makes decisions. With the help of the TV signal, the picture and the sound of communication between the judges are transmitted. Sometimes such pauses are of great interest.

Decision Review System (DRS): Judicial Rights

Judges use the Decision Review System (DRS) on four occasions:

  • Run out. A case in which the referees want to ascertain whether a cricketer has been knocked out. There may also be times when it is difficult to determine which player is the first to run to the edge of the pitch.
  • Caught and Obstructing. A player can sometimes catch the ball at a high point, and the referee cannot reliably see if the ball has bounced off the batsman before.
  • Right delivery. The referees may check if the bowler throws correctly, which results in the elimination of the batsman.
  • Boundary calls. Used when the referee is not sure whether the ball has crossed the border or not. This is important because the cricketer earns 6 points for crossing the border, and if there was no crossing, then only 4. At times, the opposing fielders try to catch the ball, not allowing the other team to earn the maximum number of points.

Decision Review System (DRS): Judicial Rights

Decision Review System (DRS): Player Rights

Cricketers can refer to the Decision Review System (DRS) in two ways:

  • If the team is on the batting side, players can request to watch the episode to ensure their player is not eliminated.
  • If the team is on the bowler side, the cricketers ask if the opposing player is eliminated.

To request Decision Review System (DRS) assistance, you can raise your hands in a “T” shape. You can also use a bat and a hand. Any team can make requests until it reaches the limit.

Decision Review System (DRS): The Ultimate Solution

In practice, cricket field judges’ decisions are canceled only in cases where an error is clearly visible. International Cricket Council leaders would like the Decision Review System (DRS) to be used universally, but there are several barriers to this. For example, poor countries cannot afford to use it economically. The system is partially used in some domestic championships.

Nisha Bhavani
Author: Nisha Bhavani Position: Cricket Expert
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